Ted Leonsis Rumors
A spokeswoman for Monumental confirmed to The Associated Press that there is an agreement in place with Powell Jobs pending approval from the NBA and NHL. Monumental owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals. Powell Jobs, widow of former Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, is a philanthropist and entrepreneur and president of the Emerson Collective.
The Washington Wizards announced today that the franchise will raise #45 to the rafters of Capital One Arena this season in honor of Phil Chenier. Chenier played nine seasons with the Washington Bullets (including the 1977-78 Championship season) and spent 33 seasons as the team’s television color analyst. “I am so proud to have the honor and blessing of my #45 hanging with the greats of this franchise,” said Chenier. “It’s a statement to my teammates, coaches and all those who have sacrificed, supported and guided me over the many years that says ‘job well done.’ I also share it with the fans who have approached me with kind words and fond memories from both my playing days and my broadcasting career. My whole family is so grateful to Ted Leonsis, the MSE ownership group and the entire organization (from staff to players) who have been so kind, thoughtful and reverent towards me. I would also like to thank the Pollins, who brought me in to this organization 46 years ago, and the many people involved with the team during my early days. I’m so appreciative of each and every experience I’ve had here and can’t wait to share this honor with my DC Family in March.”
Beal had been briefed before the episode that his final question on the show would be: “How would it feel if you would have your number be retired?” “I’m not thinking of it at the moment,” Chenier explained after. That’s when Beal dropped the hammer. “Well, it’s now official. No. 45 will go up in the rafters.”
Chenier will be the fifth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Earl Monroe (No. 10), Elvin Hayes (No. 11), Gus Johnson (No. 25), and Wes Unseld (No. 41). Of note, Chenier played with all four of those Bullets legends, making it even more appropriate that he will join them up in the rafters. “It was really kind of a numbing kind of effect,” Chenier said of the way Beal revealed the news to him. “I think I did ask him [Beal] at one point, ‘Are you serious?’” “I almost started crying because I can only imagine how he feels, and how much hard work he put into the game,” Beal said about the experience. “A lot of people don’t understand how much he meant to us as a team.”
Leonsis said he’s hopeful that a third of the team’s home games could sell out this season. With another good season on the court, he said, the team could approach a regular sellout mode in 2018. And John Wall’s recent decision to sign the four-year “supermax” extension — combined with the point guard’s gushing words about his second home town — “gives the fan base permission” to commit, in Leonsis’s words. “All around the league, people want out, and here’s a great player who wants in long-term,” Leonsis said. “I think that signals to the fans, you can trust us, you know? You can come to games, and these players are going to be here for a long time.”
As Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston over the weekend, Washington Wizards players John Wall and Bradley Beal decided to help. The pair reached out to teammates through a group text message, leading the effort to raise money for people affected by the hurricane and historical flooding in Southeast Texas. By Monday, the players’ donations had reached $250,000 with more dollars expected. According to a team source, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr. were two of the first players to respond to the group message and give money, and the players’ impromptu fundraising has spread throughout the Wizards organization. Majority team owner Ted Leonsis, President Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Scott Brooks also have personally donated money to the American Red Cross, and the organization over the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics’ charities — MSE Foundation — has contributed to the players’ amount.